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Saturday 19 October 2019

'Mixed emotions' for Corcoran

Laois S&C coach Niall Corcoran
Laois S&C coach Niall Corcoran

There, in the middle of it all in O'Moore Park yesterday, stood Niall Corcoran, unsure whether to laugh or cry.

The former Dublin defender has been Eddie Brennan's closest sideline ally since he took over as manager of a bunch of players who had lacked repeatedly hit a glass ceiling over the previous few years and were beset by internal strife.

"It's definitely for me mixed emotions," Corcoran admitted.

"Heartbreak for the Dublin lads because I know a lot of them and they're brilliant guys.

"Complete elation for the Laois lads because they've earned it since last October, working hard. Looking forward to Croke Park next week to be honest."

"I know the Dublin lads for a long time, played with some of them. They're a hugely ambitious, a hugely talented group of players and that game was never over until Alan Kelly blew the full-time whistle.

"That was the thinking and that's the way the players were focused for it."

Brennan meanwhile, deflected all praise towards his players.

All week, Brennan had been downplaying his team's chances of following up last Sunday's Joe McDonagh Cup final win with a shock result that ranks as Laois's biggest since 1985.

"They are mighty men and we have seen them grow through the year," said the former Kilkenny star.

"That's what you want as a manager and at times they drove it which is what it is all about.

"You give players the tools to go and perform on the pitch. I don't need to tell you where I found that out.

"That's the reality. To me still, hurling is a very simple game.

"You have to be able to execute the basic skills under fatigue and under pressure.

"I never doubted their skill level or their ability to get stuck in.

"I was bouncing going down the road Friday evening because I new they were going to be well up for it.

"I was afraid just to keep my emotions in check because I can't get overly pumped for them because we have to stay composed.

"We have to let them take it on and that's what we did."

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